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Gear

What running watch is everyone using? Looking at picking up a Garmin Forerunner 235.

Just looking for some reviews of running watches out there so I can make an informed decision!

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I run with a 235. Love it.

I got my 235 at the beginning of December and love it. I would definitely recommend it.

I have the Forerunner 35 and love it. The GPS is great and the HRM seems decent. Battery life is excellent. I opted for the 35 over the 235 mainly due to cost and the 35 seems less clunky to me. I didn’t expect to wear it all the time when I got it last spring but I hardly take it off.

I have a Forerunner 35 too (and am very happy with it).

There's a couple of features the 235 has which I would like (GLONASS as well as GPS, advanced workouts), but not enough to justify $A170 higher RRP.

Cool helpful comment, been fighting over the 25 (to save money) and the 235 (to get everything).

Do you find the 35 is okay with hill climbs?

Not sure what you mean? The 35 doesn't have an altimeter - not sure which other Garmin watches do and which don't - so if you want any elevation measurement at all, it's coming from GPS. Or do mean timing workouts for hill sprints?

Sorry was not clear.

I use my phone for tracking runs right now and I find if a hill is under 500m in length not height, and I am just doing repeats, my phone has a very hard time figuring out if I did any climbing at all. Altimeter would be what I am looking for then to get accurate elevation gain

Gotcha. Yeah I don't think you'd want to rely on a watch with no altimeter for that.

AFAIK it gets the elevation change from mapping your GPS data onto a map with elevations when you sync. I've always been fairly suspicious of the accuracy (e.g. brutal hills showing up as less steep than gentler hills in my recorded runs).

I have a 735xt and my dad has a 235, both are absolutely amazing, if you’re focused mainly on running then the 235 should be perfect. If you’re interested in triathlons though, the 235 won’t do it, so you’d have to go with one of the fenix or the 735xt or even the 935, my choice out of those was the 735xt since it had the best design IMO and the battery life was enough for me. DCRainmaker is always the way to go if looking for good reviews btw.

What makes the 235 inferior for cycling & swimming? I'm looking at both currently as well. My main sport is running but I do a considerable amount of cycling as well.

I'm not a swimmer, but it works well for cycling. Just from cycling through the options on my 235 now, it doesn't seem to have swimming activity tracking built in, so no lap counting or stroke counting or whatever swimmers want. But if you just want a stop watch, then it will work for that.

Comment deleted4 months ago

I love my Fenix. Not had any GPS issues at all.

Is yours the HR? I've got one coming to me on Wednesday. Some of the reviews related to GPS accuracy are worrisome....but my FR220 shows me running through buildings on occasion

I have had the HR since 2016 Feb. I have only had 1 run in the last 2 years where GPS jumped significantly incorrect. Everything else on it has been absolutely fantastic.

I have a fenix 2, so I'm not sure how radically different the gps units are, but I've only had 1 or 2 races where gps was radically different than actual route. One time was due to running in a heavily wooded forest, and other was running through buildings.

Comment deleted4 months ago

Same situation, non-hr fenix3 with chest strap. Absolutely love it!

Fenix 3 HR Sapphire. Love this watch, was between this and the new 645 but I grew impatient and I’m glad as this has a much longer battery life.

I have the 230 and love it. Debated with myself for a long time whether I should get the 235 with the HR monitor but opted not to because apparently it decreases battery life a lot and is unreliable.

This is true. I find that the heart rate monitor is garbage in the cold.

Yep, I was worried about this and already had a chest strap monitor so I got the 230. Unforeseen perk, wearing it over my sleeves when it’s really cold and not having to give up HR data!

Good point!

I have the 230 as well and love it. I didn't feel the need for constant HR monitoring. Had it for a year, use it as my everyday watch as well and doesn't feel too bulky (I am a woman). Keeps charge well.

Spent a long time on DC Rainmaker looking at reviews, they were really useful.

They have chest HR monitors for the 230 for only like $15 now on Amazon. I got one and like it and they are a lot more accurate than the wrist ones. And I can wear my watch on the outside of my clothes when it’s cold and still have my HR monitored

Have had the 235 for a year now, battery life is great and I wear my watch casually as well as running. The one thing I do have against the HR monitor is that it can be uncomfortable due to needing to be tight against the wrist. And as the other commenter mentioned in not entirely convinced by accuracy. But I still love the watch, plus the 235 came in red and the 230 didn't :)

I've been using my Garmin Vioactive and have no complaints so far.

same

I wear the FR 35. It has all of the basics (pace, distance, time, and other options like the virtual pacer, and a mode for intervals I believe. I havent used those yet.), and looks nice. I looked into some of the others, but I didn't feel I needed all of the extra data. Battery life is good, and when running on the indoor track, the indoor running mode is pretty much spot on. Solid watch for beginners, or seasoned runners who dont want all of the bells and whistles.

Edit: I also have scary skinny wrists, and have trouble finding watches that come close to fitting snug on my wrist. The watch face isnt bulky on me, and I can adjust it to actually fit me. Its one of the only things Ive found that fit on my wrists, and also doesnt look oversized.

Forerunner 35's interval mode is just fine for simple intervals. Basically, you can set the interval length (in time or distance), and the rest length (again, in time or distance), and number of repeats.

So great for e.g. "8 x 400m, two minutes rest between each". But you can't do complicated stuff like mixing different length intervals together. You can set that up in the Garmin app, but can't sync it to an FR35, you need one of the higher-end watches.

Oh ok, that makes sense. I usually do my intervals on a treadmill, which I customize to what I like, and I don't use the watch because it's horribly innacurate when Im on a treadmill. I did like some of the higher end ones, but felt I didn't want to pay for functions I wouldnt be using. The 35 is great for a basic watch, but agree if youre doing more specialized workouts, then the higher end ones would be a better choice.

Certainly makes sense to let the treadmill handle the intervals, since it can actually change speed, not just tell you that you should do so. :-)

Yep. Possibly being thrown off the back of the treadmill is a good motivator to pick up the pace. 🤣 I lack the willpower to do it myself.

I have a 235 and have nothing but a good experience with it so far, really solid watch.

Polar M400. Switched from Garmin 305, when it broke. This one is great value going to stay with Polar going forward.

Recently changed from a Garmin 310xt to a Suunto Ambit3 Run.... loved my 310xt and it served me very well from my first half marathon to my first 50k. I find the GPS on the Ambit3 is so much better, it connects almost immediately every time, the 310xt always took 2-5mins.

That's because of the age of the 310xt chip, nothing else. The current gen Garmins are equally strong on that point.

That......and affordability :)

Same here. I changed to a ambit 3 peak for the faster GPS and longer battery life. I thought about getting the 920 xt but I'm so glad I made the transition to suunto. Love this watch

A few months back I also made the change of the 310xt to the Ambit3... While I agree the GPS connection speed is nice... I find myself missing the ease of setting up and modifying intervals which the 310xt... Sure the Ambit3 is more powerful, but I find it is to complicated and still have a soft spot for the 310xt.

Also find it not as comfy.

7 points·4 months ago·edited 4 months ago

TomTom Runner Cardio. Because it was cheap (£80 - it was the previous year’s model), it does everything I need, and I don’t need the features of the fancier and more expensive running watches.

No Apple Watch peeps out there?

I run with original Apple Watch and works great paired with Nike plus app. Only drawback is mine doesn’t have gps so I also run with iPhone.

I have series 3 and use it without my phone and Bluetooth headphones. I track runs and rides on the Strava app and it works great. Highly recommend.

AppleWatch, iSmoothRun, and AirPods. ISR pushes data to Nike+ and some other sites for tracking and review.

Use a Series 3 and love it! AW heart rate tracking is extremely accurate and that’s mostly what I use it for. Distances have actually been dead-on as well, but I heard that doesn’t work so well for everyone. Plus it does all the non-fitness stuff. Helps with my calendar, meetings, etc.

AW for me. It does everything I need it to and has all the features a smart watch offers

Series 3 with LTE and AirPods. So lightweight. I love it.

I'm one.

My only gripe is with the music sync between my iPhone and my Apple Watch. That shit is just ridiculously poorly designed.

I'd like to run without my phone, but it takes forever just to send an album over.

Wish there was some proper Spotify Offline Playlist support for it.

I know it’s not as convenient, but there’s an iPod Shuffle-like device called the Mighty that is solely for use with offline Spotify playlists. I agree, the music sync between iPhone and Apple Watch is stupid.

Thanks

I nearly joined the kickstarter for that back when Pebble were making them.

Thing is, my phone already does this. I'm looking to just run with the watch and Airpods.

I have a Fenix 5x and a series 3 Apple Watch (non LTE). I like the Fenix but it’s incredibly bulky and heavy. Been testing out the Apple Watch and am fairly pleased with it. Part of the reason I got it was because Apple killed off the iPod Shuffle, and I like running with music without carrying a phone, so didn’t have many choices (though if I had known Garmin would come out with a unit that plays music I might have waited).

I've lost 100 pounds running, and I honestly don't know if I'd feel motivated to try to run if I didn't have my Apple Watch with me. I know there are a lot of serious runners here who will poo-poo it, but it has all the metrics I need and I love running with it.

I use a first gen Apple Watch. For normal use I don’t have any battery issues but at the end of a recent half-marathon it went into battery saving mode. Kind of annoying. Not sure if there is anything I could do (shut some feature off or something) but I would need something else if I wanted to run longer distances.

I have series 2 Apple Watch, and for the last year it has been great to get me into running and tracking my data, about to switch to Garmin though, charging my aw every night is getting to me, time to shift to something with more battery life. Now trying to decide between Fenix 5 and FR645 music.

Its also nice to get away from yet another device that is notifying you about everything you want to get away from when running. This was why I went for a Fenix 3, it just serves my running (extremely well) and not telling me someone just liked something on facebook.

I have the series 1 and it is WAY off on my distance and timing for both indoor and outdoor runs. Yesterday it was off by .5 compared to the treadmill which is frustrating as hell

I’ve got a 235 for sale. Just picked up a 935.

Original Poster3 points·4 months ago

PM me!

Garmin Forerunner 25

simple and got everything i need

[deleted]
1 point·4 months ago

How’s your GPS connectivity? Just got a new one and the first run connected right away vs. the second run took a few minutes.

when i use the same starting place (my house) every day it is super fast. but when i use it hiking it may take a little bit. and then again when im back home as it "relearns" the start point. if that makes sense.

also i noticed it picks up gps A LOT faster standing still compared to walking slowly

I use a Suunto Ambit 3 Peak and love it. It look super clunky though, so I don't wear it daily, only for running (or cycling or hiking or swimming). Love it because the GPS is super accurate, it has a surprisingly accurate altimeter (using barometric pressure + gps data), battery lasts for ages, it has a HR strap which is afaik more reliable than a wristband, and all the data I need and more.

Hai, have one as well. Movescount is kinda of an pain the ass, also which it vibrated for alarms.

Vibration and giving my POI names. How should I remember , which point is which :D

I got the 235 in june last year and I still love it. The Fenix series is too clunky for my taste and the 235 has all the features I want at the moment.

Just throwing this out there, don't know your price point but the Forerunner 645 was just announced and it's coming out really soon, it's already on their website and on REI's.

Does anyone knowledgeable about watches have anything negative to say about these? Like wait till they're out for a while so they can work out any bugs? I'm about to preorder one for my birthday. I'm stoked about being able to leave my phone at home.

Fitbit Surge. I'm pretty happy with it.

I've got a Blaze and I dig it.

I'm using the Blaze too and it does what i need. I'm contemplating upgrading to the Iconic at some point, but can't really justify it yet.

I'm going to hold off on upgrading until the Ionic can connect to Spotify.

I have a Polar M400 I've had for about 3 years now, just had to send it in for a repair to the charging port though. I just paid the fee vs getting a new watch, it's ok but a bit clunky and doesn't have as many cool features as some of the newer stuff and looks a bit dated but it records everything I need so until it craps out completely going to stick with it.

I've had my M400 for a little less than a year and already have trouble with the charging port as I was seeing a "Charging Cancelled" message regularly. I sent it in (under warranty) and it came back saying it's fixed, but I don't see the message going away and I'm not sure I understand what they fixed.

Did you have a similar problem and were they able to fix it? Alternately, what watch will you consider moving to if/when you decide to do so? I love the simplicity of the Polar and want to stay with a HR strap but I'm a little disappointed by the customer service.

I haven't had any problem with it since it came back, they advised the new port is more resistant to oxidation but that's all. If I moved at this point I'd probably just go with Apple watch or maybe a Garmin, but until this one truly craps out, I'll just keep it as it serves it's purpose and didn't break the bank overall.

DC Rainmaker has tons of reviews on watches. Decide what you need and then look at his reviews.

I’ve been using the 935 for a month and absolutely love it

I’m using the Fenix 5. I use it for running and hiking.

Switched from FR230 to Apple Watch 3 with cellular back in November. Overall very happy with carrying less and can’t find much in the way of negatives...

Pro: HR sensor, GPS, Cellular (no phone/flipbelt anymore), Music, and export to Garmin Connect, Strava etc.

Con: Not seen as a true runner’s watch by some, battery lasts 2 days instead of 5-6, cost was an issue, but in line with high end Garmin devices.

Who cares what other consider a Runner watch, you do you. A lot of people have a hate for anything Apple or Nike for no reason.

TomTom Spark

I've been running and racing with the Tom Tom Runner for 2 years now and love it.

So using my 5 year old fore runner 220. It still works great, so I can't see upgrading until it dies.

[deleted]
1 point·4 months ago

Just had to upgrade my forerunnner 210, that I got in 2010 (or ‘11.. can’t remember) Worked great until about a year ago.

Microsoft Band 2. I had to make some small repairs, but mine still lives!

I'm shocked. Microsoft abandoned the Band back in 2016.

Yeah, I didn't have high hopes for it after all the reports of issues and the abandonment. My band itself was starting to crack on both sides of the wrist strap, but I managed to somewhat alleviate the problem by heat shrinking tubing over the cracks, and that seems to have done the trick.

910xt. Newer doesn't always mean better, but is usually more expensive.

Forerunner 15. I like that both of it's special features are useful.

FR220. Still works just fine and has tracked a lot of miles thus far. I'll upgrade to a newer offering when it dies but until then, money is money. Enough already goes to shoes.

I do have a Scosche HR monitor for when I want to monitor heart rate. Strap is good since it also connects to the edge when biking.

235 would be a good one.

230 and I love it. Same as the 235 just no optical sensor so I use a chest strap. I find it more comfortable since I wear it almost 24/7.

I have the Timex Ironman GPS watch and love it.

I used to have a FR235, now have a Vivoactive 3. They’re both great, but I love the VA3 because it’s smaller, has other workout profiles and some updated features (stress level, etc). I wear it as an everyday watch though, so if you’ll only be wearing it for running, then the FR235 is probably fine.

Ohhhh good to know. Does the FR235 have extra features for running that the VA3 doesn't? I am debating between the two but was leaning more towards the FR235. I currently have a garmin 10 which is on it's last limb and want/need(?) an upgrade

It has some pointless software features like a race predicter.

The only thing that I can figure out that the Fr235 has that the VA3 doesn’t have is “training effect”. I never used it on the Fr235 though, so it hasn’t made a difference.

I replaced my FitBit Charge 2 with a refurbished Forerunner 235 and never looked back. I love this thing to death. I go on 3+hr runs with both GPS and GLONASS enabled and can barely make a dent on the battery life, even in sub-zero temperatures. My only beef, which is trivial: if the phone is in do-not-disturb when I start a run, the voice announcements won't get sent to the phone even if I turn off do-not-disturb mode.

And maybe once a month, regardless of how often you wear it outdoors, if the watch is in automatic time it'll fall out of sync. The fix is to stand outdoors for about 30 seconds until it re-syncs itself.

235, is good yes.

Fenix 5. Accurate, durable, good battery life and the wireless download of workouts.

I have a 235, and I'm perfectly satisfied with it.

I'm using the Endomondo app my Android smartwatch (Huawei Watch 2). Works great. When I run at night, I use the flashlight app so others can see me. Also syncs with my Bluetooth headphones for music.

630 it's great, simple smart watch is great, no need to look at your phone for messages, whats apps etc,

i had a 220, it was a workhorse, for the money it is the best watch out there, a second hand one would be a great buy too.

+1 FR 630 Love this watch but also would love to own the FR 645...

I have the 620, it still works perfectly and does everything and more what I want from a running watch, but damn, is that 645 looking good. I wish I had a reason to justify that purchase...

[deleted]
1 point·4 months ago

Apple Watch series 1. Tracking with in built app is great but works well with Nike + Run Club quite well although you do have to start run from your phone to record route.

I got a 235 in November, it's just what I need :)

I use the Fenix 3, with chest strap. It’s definitely making a difference in my fitness tracking.

Just got a 230 for Christmas and think it's great.

I'm considering switching to Garmin for my next watch (currently rocking the M400).

I have the M400 which was great for the money but I'm waiting for Garmin FR645m to come available and jump ship.

FR645m

Is there a reason why you want the FR645M over ex. Fenix 3 (besides the music function)? For my understanding most Germans watches in this price range is pretty similar.

I don't really need any of the extra features (multi-sport, open water, maps, power meter) the Fenix 3 has to offer and I've been waiting for a music enabled watch from Garmin for a while too. I wouldn't mind sticking with Polar but everyone in my family is on the Garmin platform anyway.

Hopefully Garmin Pay will turn out to be something more than a gimmick because I would definitely use the NFC payment option as I pay most of my stuff with my phone already.

Fenix 5. Was using a 735xt. Loving the upgrade.

235 for Christmas...it’s been great

Things I personally need

Pace Distance Total time Heart rate

And I wanted to be able to plan workouts and let the watch beep and vibrate at me

I don’t use the wrist hr I still wear a strap which is way more accurate

It was a Xmas present but what I stated above was what I wanted specifically so some extra things with it but what I’ve got it enough for me

I have a 235 I loveeeee it

Been using the 735XT Forerunner for 2 years now and while I don't bike much or swim at all, it's nice to have those options in case I ever want to start picking up one or the other.
People have been surprised at how light it is, which is another reason I went with the 735XT even though the price point was almost close to a Fenix, but that watch is heavier and the last thing I want to think about while running is how heavy my watch is.

The Forerunner 645 is coming out soon, and its the first to have music. It doesn't stream music like from Spotify, but it'll let you download music and play via bluetooth if that's your thing.

Been using the Suunto Spartan Trainer for a couple months. I'm very happy with it, it's crazy accurate in the woods as long as you're moving. If you stop for a bit the gps kinda drifts all over for some reason. Also doesn't do great with elevation. But it is far more accurate than the Garmin watches I've had overall.

Good watch, make sure to get a screen protector for a few bucks!

Forerunner 225, love it. Very simple, not very bulky and the price was good. I cannot remember how much I paid but I did get it on sale. I think around $200 SGD.

Best decision in terms of running gear I have made.

I’ve got a Fenix 3 HR. I love it but if I were to buy again I’d go for the forerunner 235. I don’t use much of the additional features

Yup, another owner of a 235 here and it's the best. Now, probably many of the Garmin watches could fill this need of a GPS watch, but this one suited me the most because I didn't need all the bells and whistles of the Fenix (more expensive. The forerunner is made pretty much with just running (or other activities) in mind -- while the Fenix is more geared towards someone that wants a 24/7 smart watch with fitness features.

I love the FR 230.

I bought a FR 35 and didn't like the wrist based heart rate - it simply wasnt accurate enough for me (I have boney wrists so getting a good quality reading was nearly impossible).

I sold it and bought a second hand 230 and a chest strap and haven't looked back since. Perfect!

I've had Garmin Forerunner 110 for about five years or more now and it runs like a champ. Garmin makes some quality stuff. :) You should be good with the 235, judging by how many people have commented saying they have it. If/when my 110 ever dies I'll probably go for the 235 too.

Garmin Forerunner 735xt. This watch does everything. Excellent and quick GPS signal. Receives notifications for calls, text, emails, Facebook, etc. You can race against your old runs. You can set a time and distance goal and it will display your progress (ahead or behind your goal time). It displays cadence. There hasn't been any instance where I have wished I got a different watch. You can download many different watch faces. I love the look of the watch. It's comfortable.

Oh, and the battery life is absolutely amazing.

I have a 235 and have had a few issues with it. My major issue is that it doesn’t have a stopwatch. You can download one as an app but it’s a major suck on the battery life. I’ve seen that the GPS will add mileage if I have the run app on and I’ve been standing in one place. The watch has also randomly shut off for me at times...possibly due to the cold?

I let Garmin customer service know about these issues and they sent me a refurbished one. They have excellent customer service.

Ran with a Garmin 225 for a few years and had no complaints. Recently got an Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular and it had been great. I always have music, phone and tracker on my wrist. No need to carry anything else.

The 235 is by far the best running watch I have ever used. I went from a Pebble, to a TomTom Runner Cardio, to an Apple Watch, to the 235, and I am now solidly a Garmin dude for life.

I do wish I'd grabbed the white face, though, but i got it used with a great deal, so next time, I'll know what to look for. :)

I have a Vivoactive 3 and love it

Dcrainmaker.com

I got the Fenix 5 and had the Apple Watch 2 before that and the Fenix is so much better for running. I love it and would def recommended it 100%. Do your self a favor and get it instead of something else.

I got the amazfit pace. I wanted 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and this watch has it but with good battery life as well. I only have to charge it every 3-5 days. 5 days if you disable the continuous hr monitoring.

The only complaint I have so far is the lack of any way to do interval workouts.

I bought a Polar M430 when they were on sale during black Friday based on a positive review by DC Rainmaker. The GPS works fine, although it does tend to be a bit inaccurate at the beginning if I don't give it a minute to settle down after it acquires a lock.

The optical heart rate isn't reliable enough in my experience that I would trust it for heart rate based training. My wrists are on the small side and the watch itself is pretty chunky, so I suspect that might have something to do with the weird HR readings that I tend to get. Unfortunately for me, the watch is apparently locked to only work with Polar brand heart rate straps, which also happen to be pricier than their competitor's products.

I have the FR230 and love it. I also use a separate HRM.

235 owner here too - used to have the 230 but lost it somewhere inside the house. Love having the HR without strap.

I just got the 235 and love it as well, its super easy to use but does everything I need and more for marathon training.

I just picked up a vivosport as my first "watch." I believe it's the smallest GPS band on the market right now. Super comfortable, don't even notice it, and it has pretty much all the features you could ask for. Here's a great review

I bought the amazfit pace a couple of months ago. And I am very happy..... It's a cheap and good option if you don't want to spend too much money.

I recently picked up the forerunner 230 as a factory refurbished unit for $149. It doesn't have the HRM but has all of the other bells and whistles. Seeing as it was my first entrance into a running watch I didn't want to break the bank but the watch has been great and I have worn it daily since I picked it up.

I have the 235, but the HRM is extremely unreliable. Right now it says my RHR is 50, too low. Workouts are very hit or miss. Also App sync with strava issues.

I also have the 235 and find the HRM unreliable at times.

I’ve had it for a year and occasionally I have GPS problems, I’ll get the alert that GPS is located but after syncing with the app, there is no map of my run.

I still think it’s the best running watch For the cost, it’s more accurate than my Fitbit and I like the app interface.

Timex Ironman is all you need. Get one of the old ones so you don’t have to mail order your watch band when it breaks.

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